During autumn 2011 we purchased a number of young trees for our garden from a lovely lady called Jo, who runs her business Trees For Gardens from Wyken Vineyard. We had just incorporated a large chunk of paddock into the main garden and needed to add some trees to give the area character. Jo was a mine of information and helped us choose a lovely selection of young specimens.
One of the trees that we planted was the ornamental Great White Cherry – Prunus Tai Haku. Its name means big white flowers and it really does what it says on the packet – the single white flowers can be up to two inches across.
Eventually this should grow to be a big tree. It could reach 20 feet in height and will be wider than it is tall. I hope that one day it will be substantial enough that the blossom will fill the view of the garden from the drawing room. At the moment it is little more than a stick.
I am very excited to have blossom to photograph this year. After planting in autumn 2011, as expected the tree did little more than stay alive in 2012. We were lucky that this was a wet summer as we would have spent much of our time watering the new trees if the season had been dry. As it was a large watering can per tree once or twice a week saw them through their first season.
Spring 2013 was very exciting as I was looking out for the first blossom on the now established young tree. After the long cold winter the first signs of spring were a great joy. Then disaster struck – there was so little to eat that birds attacked all of my blossom trees – cherries, plums, apples and pears were stripped of flowers and their first leaves overnight. My lovely cherry suffered badly and remained leafless for quite a while. It was mid summer before she regained her leaf cover.
This spring things have been different. Either the birds are not hungry after the mild winter or the earlier blossom is not coinciding with something that the birds were after in late April last year – perhaps nesting material? Whatever the reason, the cherries are flowering untouched this year and are breathtakingly beautiful!
My new cherry tree may still be very small, but she has given a hint of what is to come and I am delighted.
On a practical note Prunus Tai Haku is not fussy about soil type and grows best in a sunny situation on well drained soil. It has a large spread when mature so make sure it has plenty of growing room.
As usual Nelson and Hardy were helping me in the garden when I took these photos and they are always happy to pose for a shot or two!
I hope you are having a lovely weekend and I will be back tomorrow with Flowers On Sunday – this week I am featuring flowers from my Cutting Garden.